Let Yourself Go
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 14, 2002
I saw and heard Kristin at Poe Middle School in Annandale, in February 02. Kristin is a real sweetie, 4'11" in her stocking feet with a 4 octave range singing voice! Perky, she says so herself. I marvel that her large opera quality voice can come from such a bantam sized woman.
Sony told her to to choose a focus for her album and that's Broadway show/ musical tunes from the 20's, 30's & 40's with a very authentic, even retro, feel. Her personality, a romantic optimist, an innocent in the best sense of the word, shines through her music here as it did through her short-lived TV show. She is a fountain of effervesence. Beneath that perky, romantic, innocent image is a very driven hard worker, beneath the driven hard worker, is, I suspect, a perky, innocent, romantic.
Her voice opens and accelerates effortlessly from a small, slightly nasal New York twang, to a sweet chantuese, to an Wagnerian opera quality Valkyrie belter whose voice can blow walls down. When she opens up, she often sounds uncannily like Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music".
I like this whole album - "The girl in 14G" shows her range, but my fav is probably the deeply touching "You'll Never Know".
My only slight criticism is the orchestration or the Sony mix - the balance on these songs is sometimes wrong, the orchestra occationally overwhelms and Kristin's voice is recorded too compressed. I know she's much singing much louder than this! I would love to hear her singing with a small combo, uncompressed, as she is on "You'll Never Know" on her next album.
Much more will be heard from her in the future
five stars for the performance, 4 for the recording.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 8, 2001
For someone who has yet to really carry a Broadway show by herself, the diminutive Kristin Chenoweth has garnered more "star" attention that any Broadway musical performer in years. And why not? She's got more talent packed into her tiny frame than the Broadway stage has seen in years, and this, her first solo cd, amply demonstrates that fact.
The songs have been mostly chosen to demonstrate her wide range of talents, and that range is indeed incredible. She's quite funny in the title number and in the novelty Jule Styne song "If You Hadn't, But You Did," and gets to show off her operatic and jazz skills on "The Girl in 14C." She also does a very unusual and likeable take on the marvelously difficult Jerome Kern song "Nobody Else But Me" (with its tricky rapid key changes) that one wouldn't get to hear in a normal staged version on SHOW BOAT. There are a few weaker numbers, such as the Gershwin duet with Jason Alexander (it's really just stunt casting), but on the whole this is a splendid showcase for a superior performer. A last note: the highlight of the whole album for me was Kristin's dreamy wordless rendition of Duke Ellington's "On a Turquoise Cloud," which is like an Art-Deco vision of heaven--I would love to hear Kristin sing a whole "mood" album of songs in a similar vein!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2001
I adore Kristin Chenoweth. I didn't quite know who she was until her short-lived NBC sitcom. It is because of that show that I purchased this CD. I listen to it a portion of it at least once a day.
Kristin has such an amazing voice and she really shines on this album. When I first listened to the CD, I enjoyed the faster songs more than the slow ones. Then I liked the slow ones more. Now I just love it all.
"Let Yourself Go" is a fabulous song to wake yourself up and get moving. It has the pep and spirit that shines so well in Kristin's personality.
"If You Hadn't But You Did", at times my favorite song, starts out slow but gains speed quickly. In this song, you can hear Kristin's ability to get into a character using only her voice.
"How Long Has This Been Going On" and "My Funny Valentine" really show off Kristin's voice and her ability to hit those high notes and hold them.
"Hangin' Around With You", a duet with Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, is a pleasant surprise. It's fun to listen to Kristin and Jason argue, they both have fabulous comedic timing.
"The Girl In 14G" is amazing. Here, Kristin showcases the range of her voice and shows off her opera training.
In "I'll Tell the Man in the Street", "I'm A Stranger Here Myself", and "Nobody Else But Me", Kristin captures her characters so well.
"Nobody's Heart Belongs To Me/ Why Can't I?" at first seemed like a slow boring song to me, but I found myself loving it. This song just packs so much emotion and can sometimes bring a tear to my eye. I could listen to it all day long.
"Should I Be Sweet?" is hilarious. Kristin switches her mood back and forth so easily.
"Just An Ordinary Guy", "Goin' To the Dance With You", "On A Turquiose Cloud", and "You'll Never Know" continue the flow of the album, bouncing from sweet and slow to peppy to a song merely showcasing Kristin's abilities to a beautiful love song.
"Daddy" is a great song to end the CD with. It is so much fun to listen and sing along with. Kristin sings it so well, and I always find myself listening to it twice.
Overall, this CD is fabulous. In the booklet in the CD, Kristin tells John Lahr of the New Yorker, "The one thing I don't want to do is sing a song because it's pretty. I want to tell a story. I want people to be transformed in the song." With her first solo CD, Kristin achieves this goal and so much more.
I can not reccomend it enthusiastically enough. Buy this CD! :)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2004
Kristin Chenoweth, as Idina Menzel said in her speech at the 2004 Tonys, is the "grace and light upon that stage every night." And her debut CD "Let yourself go" certainly shows how talented and charismatic Kristin is. This CD utilizes Kristin's amazing versatility and range. She can go from singing ballads such as "My funny Valentine" to upbeat numbers ("Let yourself Go") to "The Girl in 14-G" that has her singing opera and jazz in one number. If you are a fan of show tunes or just good music, you should buy this CD! Kristin is a rare gem in musical theatre today but her talent doesn't stop there. She is also a classically trained opera singer and has proven herself able to sing jazz, country, and gospel as well. On top of that, she is a kind woman who doesn't take anything for granted.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Kristin Chenoweth's first CD is a great set of show tunes that she nails in performance. The Irving Berlin title track opener is dazzling. Then she utterly amazes on Jules Styne's "If You Hadn't But You Did" with words that shoot out at super nova speed. The sentimental Rodgers & Hart tune "My Funny Valentine" from 1937's "Babes in Arms" shows her serious side and her ability to handle straight emotional material. "Hanging Around with You" with Jason Alexander is a comedy/character piece that puts a smile on your face, "Now it's a different story, you're not a one-girl man; I heard you're in glory playing the dapper Dan." Kurt Weill & Ogden Nash's "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" is delightfully campy with a song that was identified with Mary Martin. Duke Ellington's "On a Turquoise Cloud" sounds otherworldly with Chenoweth's high vocals floating wordlessly through the arrangement. The set ends with the uptempo swinger "Daddy" whose arrangement goes unapologetically show biz as Kristin adopts a coy & playful persona. "Let Yourself Go" is a timeless ode to Broadway that entertains superbly. Enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Chenoweth has done it again!! Her voice is perfectly suited for these Gerswhin and Rodgers & Hart (among others) classics. In my mind, Kristin Chenoweth never fails to please.

Her rendition of "Hanging Around With You" with Jason Alexander is so funny! I really never get tired of listening to it, because it has an addictive melody and is just a really fun song overall. "Going To The Dance With You" and "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" are powerful and exciting! "The Girl In 14G", however, is where Chenoweth really shows her talent. Along with her ususal amazing voice, she also sings excerpts of opera and scat! She is truly a one of a kind person.

If you don't know who Kristin Chenoweth is but you love jazz, this is a great album for you. It features wonderful songs, with a wonderful singer performing them! Each one is unique and evokes a different kind of feeling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2002
Kristin Chenoweth is amazing. I have most of Ms. Chenoweth's recordings and this takes the cake. She has always received attention for her supporting roles (Sally in Charlie Brown, Nancy D. in A New Brain, Precious in Steel Pier etc.) but now she finally has a chance to shine!
She displays the versatility of her voice with great flair. Singing torchy jazz songs ("Daddy") and sweet romantic tunes ("Going to the Dance With You") and even some opera ("The Girl in 13G")
I was about to start typing about all of the highlights... but the truth is every song is a highlight. Many times with an album such as this I will program my cd player to skip certain tracks. I listen to every track on this album and I relish and treasure each moment with Ms. Chenoweth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
What can I say? The amazing Kristin Chenoweth has done it again. This CD showcases her voice beautifully; she has quite a range. A really good thing about this CD is that all of the songs are not exactly the same, so Kristin has a chance to show off her comedic singing ("If", among others), as well as her more serious material ("Why Can't I?", etc.), both of which she does extremely well. This should be a must-buy for any Chenoweth, music, or musical theatre fan anywhere! Kristin Chenoweth never ceases to amaze me, and I'm sure you will feel the same way after you listen to this fabulous CD.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2005
One word immediately comes to mind when I contemplate Kristin Chenoweth's solo CD, "Let Yourself Go." That word is masterpiece.

For starters, this CD showcases Ms. Chenoweth's comic genius. Nobody - not even Dolores Gray, who premiered the song in 1951 - sings Comden and Green's dizzyingly hilarious "If" with such ease and panache:

IF I had not seen you take

Geraldine on the lake

In your flat bottomed skiff,

IF you were not found with Sue

With your arms around her bare midriff,

IF I had not seen you pen

Sexy letters to Gwen

In your own hieroglyph,

IF you had not left me home

When you had two seats for 'South Pacif'!

I'm gonna miss you, baby.

You were too darn prolif'!

Aaaah, what's the diff'?

And the laughs continue on subsequent tracks, particularly "Hanging Around With You" and "The Girl in 14G" (where you can hear Kristin as an ingénue, beatnik and coloratura simultaneously).

But there are equally precious moments on this CD when the wisecracking stops. Then we are treated to heart-tugging renditions of "My Funny Valentine" and "Nobody's Heart Belong to Me."

It is this multidimensional gift - her ability to make us laugh and sigh - that makes Kristin Chenoweth extraordinary. Listen to this CD and you will know the difference between a singer and an artist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2006
Kristin Chenoweth has made a name for herself, maybe not quite household, but everyone knows that cute face and energetic, overly-caffinated enthusiasm, not to mention that voice! That voice that makes you think, "How does she keep that going on for so long?" Then you realize, that's just how she talks, sings, and, well, basically wins every producer over from day to day, Hollywood or Broadway. Ever since Ms. Chenoweth made the 1999 Revival cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" the "Sally Brown" show, she has been stealing spot-lights everywhere. Not only has she been in a dozen films (she's a hoot in Bewitched; not to mention the only reason to see the film), but she's turned a show about a green witch into a show about a spoiled prom queen who's character arch throughout the show was seen through her poise as well as her voice, going from the childish, sassy and altogether delightful "Popular" to operatic strains of maturity in "No One Mourns the Wicked." When she didn't win the Tony Award for her portrayal of Galinda (with a "ga"), it was certain that the award for Best Actress was not that at all, but really the award for "Most Improved Individual from the show Rent." I love you Idina, but that was Kristin's show.

Ms Chenoweth is a bonafide showstopper. There a moments on this debut solo album where you think maybe a meatier voice, such as Audra McDonald, should have sung one of the songs, such as "He's Just an Ordinary Guy," but then there are certain ways in which Kristin wraps the phrases in her own style and create a different idea of what the song would have been through the soul of someone else. It's a different song with her on board, and that's refreshing. She chose two Gershwin standards, which only prove that she can sing whatever she wants. However, we really first get to see the kind of voice we're dealing with once the track slips to number 6 and she starts to sing about the room that is "perfect for a mouse like me." Not only does she rely on her comic impulses to charm her listeners, but soon we realize this isn't the normal (can we call anything she does normal?) Ms. Chenoweth fare. She has the delight to show us that she is not just any musical theatre singer, she's opera trained, and a fine colortura at that. When she breaks into the Queen of the Night aria in the middle of "The Girl in 14G" it is obvious that we are dealing with possibly the finest voice in musical theatre history (sorry Barbara Cook/Harris). The she takes us on an emotional journey in "I'll Tell the Man in the Street" showing us that she can switch from cute to mature in the matter of an instant. This Rogers and Hart standard is maybe the most mature piece of this album. Every song on here is worth mentioning, but you really need to listen to this CD to understand why this woman charms within the first moment she steps onto any stage. She's just wonderful, and that is an understatement!
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